THE young couple forced to walk away from running an Ammanford town centre pub have spoken of their bitter disappointment and expressed their heartfelt apologies to their loyal customers following the shock move.

Alex Spooner and Jess Whitworth have been left devastated after being left no option but to close the doors on the Old Cross on Quay Street.

“We are both heartbroken,” said Jess.

“We put everything we had into making the Old Cross a success, so to have to close the doors and turn our back on the place like this has been terrible.”

The pair were forced to close the pub at short notice on Friday, December 7, following what they described as “unforeseen circumstances completely beyond our control”.

“What hurts us most is the thought that so many people were looking forward to a great Christmas in the Old Cross, but now because of the current situation that is no longer possible,” said Jess.

“We want to offer our sincere apologies to everyone who has been affected, but there was absolutely nothing we could do.

“Our hands were tied and we had no option but to close.

“It was not possible for us to keep the Old Cross open any longer.”

To makematters worse, the couple had been expecting a bumper festive period, with 60 bookings already in place for a slap-up Christmas lunch.

Jess has contacted 56 of the parties to offer her apologies and return any deposits paid.

However, she has so far been unable to contact four bookings.

“If you are one of the four couples who booked their Christmas lunch at the Old Cross, but have not been contacted, please call into the Guardian to collect your refund.

“We just want everyone to know how sorry and disappointed we are,” said Jess.

“We would also like to say a huge thank you to all our loyal regulars for their support through this difficult time.”